Gallagher Premiership duo Will Skelton and Ross Batty have both received four-week suspensions following red cards during last weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup matches.
Australian Skelton was sent off by Nigel Owens in the 39th minute of Saracens’ dramatic win over Racing at Allianz Park for tackling visiting full-back Brice Dulin in a dangerous manner.
An independent disciplinary committee comprising of chair Roddy Macleod (Scotland), Frank Hadden (Scotland) and Craig Sowman (Ireland) upheld the red card decision, finding Skelton had made contact with Dulin’s head in a dangerous manner.
Six weeks was selected as the appropriate mid-range entry point on World Rugby’s list of sanctions. It then determined the offence was at the mid-range of World Rugby’s sanctions. However, the proposed ban was reduced by two weeks to four, leaving Skelton free to play again on February 24.
A disciplinary committee featuring the same personnel that dealt with the Skelton case handed out a similar four-week ban to Bath’s Batty following his sending off by Alexandre Ruiz in the 73rd minute of their game last Saturday at Ulster. Batty was carded after tackling John Cooney.
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The committee upheld the red card decision, finding that Batty had made contact with Cooney’s head in a dangerous manner. Again, six weeks was selected as the sanction entry point and this was reduced by two weeks, leaving Batty free to play again on March 2.
The difference in the date when the two players can return to play is due to Saracens having more matches in the coming weeks because of their semi-final fixture in the Premiership Cup, a tournament Bath have already been eliminated from.
WATCH: Andy Goode and Brendan Venter didn’t hold back on this week’s The Rugby Pod as they discussed Saracens and the salary cap scandal
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